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AIJEXAKDEB   VON   HUMBOKDT.                193
"Flora Friburgensis/' which was published in 1793,
he called those plants social, which always appear in
groups, and cover large surfaces uniformly, thus con-
tributing to give a physiognomic character to a land-
scape, which the  moving,   often travelling   animals,
cannot do.    But the interest of Huinboldt's geographi-
cal   conception of plants, lies in his classifying them
according   to   climate,   whereby they   are   regularly
ranged one above  the other, on mountains, as  they
Increase in height, and the belt of the mountains has
a warm, a temperate, or a cold climate.    Htinaboldt,
in subsequent years, says of himself: " It was a fortu-
nate circumstance of my life, that at a time when I
employed myself almost exclusively with botany, my
studies, favoured by the view of a grand climatically
contrasted nature, could be directed to this subject/'
namely, to connect the geography of plants with the
theory of the distribiition of warmth over the earth,
to regulate plants according to their natural families,
and then distinguish them numerically.
Humboldt endeavoured to apply the principles
which he had founded, and which include especially
the direction of the isotherm!c lines, which he draws
over the earth, to connect all points of equal mean
temperature, and on which the botanical geography
naturally depends, to this subject; he endeavoured to
apply these principles also for a geography of animals,
although these latter are moce apt to change their
location at will, between the ecfuator and the poles,
while the plants wander only in the egg (as floating
seeds), and once rooted, remain dependent on soil and
But in a perfect slcetch of nature, man cannot be
omitted. The human race was therefore also studied
in its physical degrees of races and tribes, and their
geographical distribution. This knowledge, Hum-
boldt endeavoured to obtain, by a more accurate inves-
tigation into the history of civilization, of race, of
common language, of modification in the original
tendencies of mind and feeling. He also arrived at